Freedom of movement

Croatia

Country Report: Freedom of movement Last updated: 27/05/21

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Applicants who are not detained can freely move within the country, and generally no restrictions are applied with regard to the area of residence. In fact, applicants are allowed to stay – at their own cost – at any address in the Republic of Croatia, subject to prior approval by the Ministry of Interior. According to the Ordinance on the Realisation of Material Reception Conditions, in order to stay at some other address, the applicant must provide a notarised copy of the rental agreement or a notarised statement of the owner of the apartment stating that they accept to accommodate the applicant and would provide him or her with the adequate standard of living, or a title deed if the applicant is the owner of the property in which he intends to reside, or a hotel reservation if the applicant is located in a hotel.[1] Not special measures were introduced in relation to applicants for international protection in regard to freedom of movement due to COVID 19, but the general measures that were introduced by the National Civil Protection Authority also applied to applicants – meaning that movement was restricted between counties in certain periods of 2020.

For those applicants who are accommodated in the Reception Centres for Applicants of International Protection, there is an obligation to inform the Head of the centre if they want to stay out for one or more nights, as they have to return to the centre by 23:00. According to the amendments of the Ordinance on the Realisation of Material Reception Conditions the Applicant may stay outside the Centre for more than 24 hours with the prior approval of the Reception Centre and for a maximum of 15 days. In this case (except in certain cases such as lack of capacity and occupancy of accommodation facilities), the allocated room will remain reserved. For any stay longer than 15 days, the applicant must submit the appropriate documents and register his / her residence at a new address.[2]

There are only two reception centres for applicants in Croatia, so in the past relocation of applicants was possible from one centre to the other centre due to capacity / bed management issues or where special needs would arise. However, since the Reception Centre in Kutina was renovated and reopened in June 2014, it was decided that this centre would be primarily used for the accommodation of vulnerable groups.

The LITP foresees restrictions on freedom of movement as Alternatives to Detention. The LITP specifies that the freedom of movement may be restricted by the following measures:[3]

  • Prohibition of movement outside the Reception Centre for applicants;
  • Prohibition of movement outside a specific area;
  • Appearance in person at the Reception Centre for applicants at a specific time;
  • Handing over travel documents or tickets for deposit at the Reception Centre for applicants; or
  • Accommodation (i.e. detention) in the Reception Centre for Foreigners.

LITP lists 4 grounds for restricting freedom of movement (which are also grounds for detention):[4]

  1. To establish the facts and circumstances of the application which cannot be determined without limitation on freedom of movement, in particular where there is a risk of absconding;
  2. To establish or verify identity or nationality;
  3. To protect national security or public order; or
  4. To prevent abuse of process where, on the basis of objective criteria, which include the possibility of access to the procedure of approval of international protection, there is a well-founded suspicion that the intention to apply for international protection expressed during the procedure of forced return was aimed at preventing the procedure of removal.

For detention under the same grounds, see the chapter on Detention of Asylum Seekers.

 

 

[1]           Article 10(2) Ordinance on the Realisation of Material Reception Conditions.

[2]           Article 17(1) Ordinance on the Realisation of Material Reception Conditions.

[3]           Article 54(5) LITP.

[4]           Article 54(2) LITP.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation